Friday, 26 January 2018


The Gardening Club - 'The Gardening Club: Expanded Edition'

Title - 'The Gardening Club: Expanded Edition'
Artist - The Gardening Club
Taking it from the top, and simply put, Martin Springett is an extraordinary artist.
He was born in Crayford, Kent, England, in 1947 and studied art for two semesters at the Brassey School of Art in Hastings, Sussex. He then emigrated to the West Coast of Canada in 1965, but returned to the UK in 1973 to pursue music in various bands.
He spent time in Germany, and toured through Europe, and whilst in London, Martin started to illustrate and design record covers for Columbia records.
Upon his return to Vancouver, Martin carried on with music and illustrated various books and magazines. In 1978 he moved to Toronto, maintaining activity in every area where illustration is required.
Indeed, it was around that time that he released his own album, The Gardening Club, in 1983. An absolutely glorious, melodic and original album, Gonzo Multimedia has now brought it back to life, and into the public eye, with this stunning remastered and expanded edition.
1. 'Midnight Road'
2. 'Mole Hole Blues'
3. 'The Traveller'
4. 'Andromeda'
5. 'The Garden'
6. 'Three Days at Brighton'
7. 'Rebirth'
8. 'The Stone That Speaks'
8. 'Endersby's Ride in 3 Parts'
9. 'Nirvana Isn't'
10. 'After the Glow'
11. 'Upside Down Blackbird'
12. 'When You Live This Way'
13. 'New York Moon'
A lost in time gem of an album, containing 12 string guitars and flutes galore alongside the clean sheen of a typical 1980s production and some mighty fine pastoral instrumentals, The Gardening Club: Expanded Edition (which also features the original cover art now with a 24 page illustrated lyric booklet, created especially for this re-release by Springett himself, of course), is as great to listen to today as it was back then.
The melodic 'Midnight Road' kicks things off, before the guitar wizardly of Springett comes to the fore on 'Mole Hole Blues', which is backed beautifully by the flute and drum work of 'The Traveller.' The thought-provoking, spacial 'Andromeda' is next and that's backed by the shortest track on the album, the delicate acoustic guitar work of 'The Garden.'
'Three Days at Brighton' is yet another, fun, jaunty track that seemingly includes all instruments known to Springett, and then comes both the triumphant 'Rebirth', before the longest track, the ethereal 'The Stone That Speaks'.
The beautiful guitar playing of Springett again comes to the fore on the magnificent 'Endersby's Ride in 3 Parts', before thus newly expanded edition concludes with five bonus studio tracks; that all, each and every one of them, showcase just what an incredible talent illustrator Martin Springett truly is: 'Nirvana Isn't, 'After The Glow', 'Upside Down Blackbird', 'When You Live This Way', and 'New York Moon.'
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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.